Going overseas or heading to one of New Zealand’s holiday hotspots is always fun. But rising interest rates and the cost of groceries and petrol mean that a vacation is out of the question for many families. Or perhaps you want to take advantage of the fact Kiwis leave town in droves at this time of the year and enjoy your own neighbourhood without the crowds. Whatever your reason for a holiday at home we’ve got tips and suggestions to make your staycation fabulous.
Staycation success strategies
Have a start date and an end date for your staycation – then you will be able to enjoy the ‘I’m on holiday’ feeling.
Toss the to-do list - either catch up with chores before the start of your staycation or just ignore them. You wouldn’t wash the windows at a holiday rental! Even the laundry can wait a few days.
Unplug from work - shut down your laptop, turn off any notifications on your smart phone, including that 6am alarm, and don’t check work emails.
Have a staycation budget – set aside some money to enjoy your break just like you would if were leaving town. It will still be a cheaper than going away but you will have funds for some fun things you don’t do every day, whether it’s a family movie pass, an ice-cream treat or some new books and games to help everyone relax.
Be a tourist in your own town… visit local attractions such as museums, water parks, mini golf, scenic lookouts, a zoo or wildlife sanctuary or check out what is happening in your area at eventtinder.
If you can’t be at the beach… act like you are. Read a book in the sun, eat outside if you can, stick to wearing summer dresses or shorts and jandals and remember it’s never too early for happy hour. If it’s hot, consider setting up a paddling pool in the backyard (making sure you follow all the rules around pool fencing and safety). Or keep some water pistols on hand for a fun cool down. Take the ‘at the beach’ attitude wherever you go.
Think about what you enjoy doing when you are on holiday and do it anyway – whether it’s eating out, going for a bike ride or sitting around in your pajamas scrolling through Facebook. And encourage the rest of the family to do the same – get everyone to make a list of the ‘staycation’ activities they want to do so you don’t have to deal with any of those “I’m bored” moments.
Sleep as long as you like – whether that’s a morning lie in or an afternoon nap. Take this time to re-energise without feeling guilty.
Ditch the car where you can. Travel on foot or by bike or scooter. Not only does it avoid traffic stress, it gets you moving and you will take more notice of your neighbourhood than you do when you are speeding past in a vehicle.
Play – we are so busy we rarely set aside time to do activities just because they make us happy. That might be colouring with the kids or a marathon game of hide and seek, chucking a ball for the dog, doing a jigsaw or practicing your golf swing at the local park. You don’t have to achieve anything except having fun
Awesome staycation activities Here are a few ideas to make you holiday at home fun.
Pamper yourself with an at home facial, manicure or pedicure. If you have teenagers in the house, consider paying them to be your personal beauty therapist.
Stock up at the local library on books, DVDs or games that will keep the whole family entertained.
Put fairy lights or Christmas lights in the garden and enjoy eating outside in a summer wonderland
Turn the music up loud and dance like no one is watching.
Head to a park, playground or beach within short driving distance that you have never visited before. It might become your local favourite. Or try a bush walk you have never done.
Have movie nights and let everyone take a turn to pick the film
Set up camp in your backyard – someone is bound to have a tent you can borrow for a couple of nights to enjoy a camping experience that’s just metres from your fully stocked kitchen and your own bathroom.